The Bicycle Network chief executive, Craig Richards, said
the report showed the current approach by states and territories is not working
and there needs to be immediate intervention.
“Bike rider fatalities in Australia haven’t decreased for two decades, and sadly it seems there will be no improvement in 2018-19.”
But the story goes far
further than cyclist deaths. The total bicycle crashes in Sydney (chart below) especially
in the congested Sydney CBD reveals 1900 crashes
in 2017-18 resulting in injuries.
Bicycles are vehicles and subject to the same road rules as
cars. That includes
Must wear approved helmets.
Riders over 16 years old must not use the
footpath and must give way to pedestrians when on shared bike paths.
Must have at least one working brake and a fully
functioning bell, horn, or similar warning device.
If riding at night or in hazardous weather conditions, the bike must display a flashing or steady white light from
the front, and a flashing or steady red light from the rear. The bike also requires a red reflector which is
visible from the rear.
Must give a
hand signal when turning right or merging to the right lane. When signalling,
do so about 30 metres before you turn or change lanes or lane position.
Hi, I am Julian Kenny, and I ride both a motorbike and a bicycle, so I am extra bike aware. I recently rode in the MSSydney to Wollongong Charity Bike Ride to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. GadgetGuy was a generous sponsor of my ride and loaned me the Blinkers bike safety lights to review.
I am not a reviewer – just a handy bike rider that GadgetGuy could co-opt.
“You know what’s it like, over the crest and enjoying the freewheeling descent, when an SUV rocks up to a crossroad below. You intend to turn right just past that point, and you want to tell that to the motorist, but you’ve got both hands on the brakes. Stay where you are, dude! I’m on a bicycle here!”
The new Blinkers bicycle lighting system is just what you
need at this moment, allowing you to flick on the right indicator and focus on
Bicycle accidents are the norm, not the exception. And for fear of upsetting casual bicyclists it
is because we can approach speeds of cars, we are riding a flimsy device
without protection and often too busy to indicate.
A hand signal is necessary on a bicycle but not in a car or
motorbike. That is because Australian design rules make it mandatory to have
front and rear ‘blinkers’ – indicators that are easily accessed by a driving
column stalk. A bicyclist does not usually have that convenience, let alone
such visible indicators.
What is a Blinker?
Blinkers come in two types – a rear blinker with a hand control or one with a laser perimeter projection system as well. If night riding is your thing, I recommend you get a pair – one each for front and rear.
There have been bike indicators
before, but none so clever. Providing the
usual range of front and rear lights – on, flashing, pulse and off – plus a
self-cancelling left and right indicator in a robust 75mm casing that resembles
a Klingon Bird of Prey, the Blinkers units are highly visible, waterproof and
easy to use.
The laser perimeter projection system is amazing and puts a highly visible green laser
light on the road in the front and rear of the bike.
Ikea-type instructions illustrate how to assemble the mounts
to the handlebar and under the saddle.
The light units themselves attach magnetically, in case you
stop at the wrong sort of café and need to tuck them into your backpack. Every
time you magnetically click them into the secure mount it flashes to indicate remaining
A simple remote control connects via Bluetooth to the lights
and attaches to the handlebars within
easy reach of whichever thumb you choose, with ‘up’ to adjust the front beam,
‘down’ for the rear, and ‘L’ and ‘R’.
Use on the road
On the road, nothing could be easier, because the indicators self-cancel after 12 seconds (18
flashes). You can easily interrupt the flashing (press ‘L’ or ‘R’ again).
The whole Swiss-made unit is solid
and so unobtrusive that the biggest challenge is remembering your new
capability. A few motorists nodded in
recognition, as though more lights assuaged their in-born road rage.
Interestingly, there is a brake light that comes on automatically under deceleration. This is great stuff.
If you order the laser version, it puts a hi-vis green semicircle of light around the bike.
Blinkers are IP64
water resistant. You can ride with it in the rain or snow.
The Blinkers produce 100 lumens at the front and rear dual brake light and 30 lumens for the rear red ‘reflective’ light. While it can replace a headlight, you may want to invest in a dedicated lamp of 500 lumens or more. See GadgetGuy’s review of the Thor Q8 torch here.
It recharges the 3200mAh battery via an attractive red USB-Mini USB cable. I used a 5V/2A wall charger. Run times are 25-30 hours. If you use them a lot, buy a small battery power bank for emergency top ups.
The remote control uses a CR2032 coin cell, good for ten months – or until it stops working.
My take – Blinkers should be mandatory
Developed in Europe where bicycle transport is more the
norm, the Blinkers lighting system delivers on its brand promise to make “the
urban cyclist visible, predictable and respected”.
So, next time you’re up on the pedals, pulling on the
bars, climbing that hill with all your might, it might come in handy to tell
the motorist on that side road just what your intentions are.
And after the ride, these adaptable lights will come in handy for that occasional backyard dance party too.
Having adequate lighting on your bicycle is a legal
requirement when cycling in the dark. Not only are lights vital for being seen
by other road users but they can also offer better understanding between
cyclists and vehicle users due to the increased functionalities such as turning
indicators, brake lights and laser projection.
2. CLOTHING CHOICE
Clothing choice should have the dual function of keeping you
warm as well as making you visible to other road users. Pack layers in
anticipation for a temperature drop, waterproofs for those damp days and don’t
underestimate the value in having reflective panels, fabrics and designs on
3. REFLECTIVE ACCESSORIES
Invest in some reflective accessories such as wristbands, anklebands, reflective strips,
stickers or tape to enhance visibility & add to your safety.
A pair of clear glasses are a wise accessory to have to
reduce the loss of visibility and protect your eyes from debris, mud & grit
thrown up from the road, strong winds and spray on those wetter journeys.
If you have a choice, try and stick with routes you are
familiar with to avoid any unknown obstacles, poorly surfaced roads or
complicated junctions. Testing the route out in daytime & planning your
journey is beneficial to make you more at ease with night cycling.
6. BUDDY UP
Night cycling can be daunting, especially in the beginning,
so buddy up with a friend or join a local organised cycling group. You will be
grateful for the company & help should you ever unfortunately develop a
7. STAY VIGILANT AND NEVER ASSUME
Cycling can be risky at the best of times, never mind in the
dark. Stay vigilant (as you would in daytime cycling) for any hazards and never
make the mistake of assuming, even if lit up like a Christmas tree, that a
driver has seen you when completing a manoeuvre.
Value for money
Easy of Use
Reader Rating1 Vote
Very well designed and made
Easy to mount and easy to take off
Good battery life and quick charging
Helps dumb motorists see you better - take note!
Laser version is unique in helping to define the 1 metre passing rule